Michael Webb

Professor Michael Webb

Executive Director

Defence and Security Institute

Division of Research and Innovation

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Michael joined the University of Adelaide in July 2008 where he is currently Executive Director of the Defence & Security Institute. In his current role Michael provides industry and government a single point of contact within the University of Adelaide for Defence, Cyber and Space related research and education.

Recent achievements include: (1) Michael’s leadership in industry engagement in the now awarded Defence Trailblazer, Concept to Sovereign Capability Program; and (2) Michael’s academic leadership of the “Understanding Mass Influence” study undertaken for Defence’s Information Warfare Division.

Prior to his current role, Michael led and contributed to a diverse range of applied research at the University of Adelaide including: development of a C4ISR stress modelling methodology for application to military operations (applied to Special Forces missions and joint amphibious operations); development of an information architecture for Australia’s highly dispersed Electronic Warfare capability; development of a technology forecasting methodology for Australia’s Special Forces; development of a prototype Strategic Common Picture (STRATCP) for Defence’s Strategic Command Group; as well as the development of various decision support and modelling tools for military communications.

Michael has a PhD in physics (millimetre wave optics) from the University of St Andrews, a Masters’ degree in mathematical psychology, and Bachelors’ degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Adelaide. Prior to working in academia, Michael worked in the Defence Science and Technology Group, for a little over 20 years. While at DST Group he undertook and led research in: over-the-horizon and microwave radar; signals intelligence; and command & control. Michael received an Australian Operational Service Medal (Iraq and ICAT) for his leadership of a mixed military and civilian team in the evaluation of Australia’s deployed communications capability in the Middle East Area of Operations during 2006. In 2014 Michael received an award for excellence for his contribution to enhancing the safety of Australia’s deployed troops by quantifying the electromagnetic interference experienced by improvised explosive device detectors. Michael has also received awards for papers in the Microwave, Theory and Techniques Symposium Series, and a commendation for the David Marr prize in Cognitive Science, Chicago 2004.

Michael is passionate about bringing academic, industry and Defence capability together to enhance our collective ability to secure Australia’s future.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2023 - ongoing Executive Director, Defence & Security University of Adelaide
    2010 - ongoing Deputy Director, Defence, Centre for Defence Communications and Information Networking University of Adelaide
    2008 - 2009 Senior Analyst, Defence, The Centre for Defence Communications and Information Networking University of Adelaide
    2002 - 2008 Head of Group (Principal Research Scientist) DSTO, Department of Defence
    1995 - 2002 Senior Research Scientist DSTO, Department of Defence
    1992 - 1995 Research Scientist DSTO, Department of Defence
    1989 - 1992 Research Scientist Cadet at University of St Andrews, UK DSTO, Department of Defence
    1988 - 1989 Antenna Design Engineer DSTO, Department of Defence
    1987 - ongoing Electronics Design Engineer Practel Pty Ltd
    1986 - ongoing Antenna and Hi-Fi Loudspeaker Design Engineer Duntech Pty Ltd
    1985 - ongoing Research Assistant University of Adelaide
    1984 - ongoing Distribution Engineer Electricity Trust of South Australia
    1983 - ongoing RF Design Engineer Codan Pty Ltd
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2010 University of Adelaide Australia Master of Medical Science,
    1989 - 1992 University of St Andrews United Kingdom PhD,
    1979 - 1982 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Engineering (Hons),
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2007 - 2007 Executive Leadership Development Program Defence Science Technology Organisation, Department of Defence Australia
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Co-Supervisor Non-conventional threats in the Domain of Space: Contemporary Cases and Future Threats Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Adam Sell
    2023 Co-Supervisor Understanding factors impacting the use of deception technology when used for defensive cyber operations. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Rich Munslow
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Towards Exposing Coordinating Inauthentic Groups on Social Media Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Derek Christopher Weber
    2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Efficient Terahertz-Range Beam Control Using Flat Optics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Daniel Jonathan Headland
  • Position: Executive Director
  • Email: m.webb@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: Australia
  • Org Unit: Defence and Security Institute

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